UK Households Who Host Ukrainian Refugees to Receive £350 a Month

Households in the United Kingdom who host Ukrainian refugees for at least six months rent-free will receive £350 ($456) a month under a government scheme.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove told the BBC’s Sunday Morning program that the “Homes for Ukraine” scheme will allow homeowners to sponsor named individuals or families to stay in their home or in another property for a minimum of six months.

However, sponsors are encouraged to offer sanctuary for as long as they can and they will receive a “thank you” payment.

Those who will offer accommodation will be vetted while Ukrainian applicants will go through security checks.

A website for the scheme is set to open on March 14.

Currently, only those fleeing the war who have family ties in the UK are able to apply via the Ukraine Family Scheme.

The new scheme allows those without family ties to come to the UK.

Gove said up to “tens of thousands” could come to the UK under the new scheme “within a week.”

However, Refugee Council Chief Executive Enver Solomon said in a statement that the scheme “falls short of enabling any Ukrainian, particularly the most vulnerable such as children who are alone, to seek safety in the UK and access the full support they urgently need.”

“By establishing a visa route and naming scheme, it will inevitably be restricted to those who are known to people in the UK and be a quite complex lengthy visa application process. A humanitarian crisis requires a speedy and compassionate response not one that puts bureaucratic hurdles ahead of the immediate needs of people whose lives have been ripped apart,” Solomon said.

The scheme comes after weeks of criticism of the government’s response to the Ukraine refugee crisis.

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